Today, I shared a memory on Facebook. It was a picture of my middle daughter and my youngest stepdaughter with my beloved Boston Terrier at the pumpkin patch; it made me smile.
That’s not why I shared it. I shared it because it was one of the few times I left my house during what I like to refer to as my “dark period”. I had PTSD and deep depression. I had pulled into myself. I rarely left my room. I rarely looked away from my computer to talk to my kids and husband. I was hurting and it sucked. I sucked.
But on that day in autumn, I let my husband talk me out of leaving my house. He kept telling me how happy he was, and I felt so ugly and uncomfortable. I was ashamed for people to look at me and excited to be preparing to celebrate one of my favorite holidays at the same time. Everyone else looked so cute in their autumn finery; bright sweaters and scarves, nice coats, skinny jeans and messy bun hats and big floppy boots. I was in the same thing I always wore and felt grumpy and embarrassed…but I was still happy. Because I was out in autumn with my husband and my girls.
I guess some part of me is proud of me for going out and claiming that one day, and glad that the several years I spent in the darkness wasn’t completely misery. Sometimes, I put my family first and we made memories.
My other girls immediately started razzing the two in the picture. To be fair, they weren’t ready for pictures that day and my stepdaughter was making a face. She was also in an awkward phase; somewhere between childhood and adolescence. So maybe when they look at it, they see her baby cheeks and it makes them giggle. I don’t know. To me, they’ve all always been beautiful…it’s hard to imagine laughing at the look of any of them. But it’s different for them. I took the picture down and will just hold it in my heart, to protect the youngest from ridicule.
It is what it is I guess. That was just another day for them, back then and today. It’s very different for me.